Readers respond to Alanis Morissette, "Breaking the Waves," and "Evita"


I was really happy and surprised when I saw that EW had awarded Rosie O’Donnell Entertainer of the Year status (#359/360, Dec. 27/Jan. 3). It is about time somebody in the entertainment field shot to stardom because of their charm and personality, not by becoming involved in personal scandal. Rosie definitely has the best chat show on TV. I hope she stays there and is Entertainer of the Year in 2006!

My thanks to Ken Tucker and Bruce Fretts for their relentless support of the under-watched NewsRadio (which runs neck and neck with Frasier for the best ensemble cast and smartest writing on TV). NBC would do well to finally keep it in a time slot it deserves, either replacing the singularly unfunny The Single Guy on Thursday or following Frasier on Tuesday. It’s a pleasure to see this quiet talent get its due.

One hundred and sixty-four pages of the Best of 1996…and no mention of Shania Twain? Arrrgh!
Delmar, N.Y.

Naming Jagged Little Pill as one of 1995’s worst albums and Alanis Morissette as No. 3 entertainer of 1996 — isn’t that ironic?
Park Hills, Mo.

I was a bit shocked to see Olivia Goldsmith admit that one of her ”hits” of 1996 was ”Bob Dole falling off the dais on the campaign trail.” Ms. Goldsmith has just had a hugely successful movie made from her book, and this is one of the high points of her year? While I’m certain some people find it great fun to watch a 73-year-old man with a physical disability fall almost four feet to the pavement, I would have expected that sentiment to be confined mostly to the Beavis and Butt-head crowd, certainly not adult authors.
Decatur, Ala.

First, I’d like to applaud Owen Gleiberman for choosing Breaking the Waves as the best film of the year. It’s a gutsy move and one of the very few fair evaluations Mr. Gleiberman has ever made. This brings me to his critique of Evita. To place it on the ”worst of” list when Striptease, Jack, and Sgt. Bilko are up for grabs is ludicrous. Are we supposed to be impressed with Mr. Gleiberman’s nerve to go against the hype and trash Evita when the general response has been very positive? In his original critique, Mr. Gleiberman accused Evita of being ”bombastically glossy,” then later pointed out that it would have been better if Alan Parker had treated the subject as a larger-than-life spectacle. A contradiction if there ever was one.

It’s not often that one issue of any magazine is so refreshing and entertaining from cover to cover. Even more rare is one that can evoke tears, smirks, and smiles with a timetable of interesting facets of the industry. The ’97 year-end issue will have to go far to surpass this one.
Newport, R.I.